Welcome from Producing Artistic Director Terri Kent

Dear Friends,

I thought it was time that I reached out to give you an update, but first a little theatre trivia:

QUESTION: What do these three musicals have in common:  QUILTERS, BKLYN, and ALTAR BOYZ

ANSWER:  They will all be produced at Porthouse Theatre this summer!!!

Yes, that is right.  We are back, and if all goes as planned, we will be open for your entertainment.  Now, it won’t be “business as usual”, and we have to remain flexible in the event that the nasty virus raises its ugly head with another surge.  However, I remain hopeful.  I got the vaccine so that I could safely direct two of the productions this year.  I look forward to greeting you all at the theatre—from a distance of 6 feet. 

A little about our season.  The casts of all three shows are small.  QUILTERS and BKLYN are the largest with 7 actors each.  The sets will be simplified, and the costumes will be limited to 1 per actor, at least that is the restriction at this time.  All of the bands are small combos and do not require any mouth played instruments such as brass or woodwinds.  In fact, we may be required to use recorded accompaniments to cut down on space and allow the performers to socially distance.  The Governor recently announced that the capacity on outdoor events will be raised from 15% to 30% by April.  He hinted that the percentage could increase by May, and he said he is hopeful that the Progressive Field would be up to full capacity by July 4!  He also said that everything was dependent upon getting the virus under control, “once the state achieves 50 cases per 100,00 people over two weeks”. 

Some things to know:

  1. As of right now, the pavilions will be used to provide extra seating for those who want the “live Porthouse Theatre experience”. Monitors will be set up in the pavilions which will provide a video feed so that patron seated in those areas can see what is happening on stage, while listening to the show live.
  2. Picnicking will be restricted to the picnic tables on the grounds.  If restrictions loosen, that will change.
  3. We are not planning to sell concessions this summer, but you can bring your own.  No food or drink will be permitted in the theatre or the pavilions. 
  4. We are hoping to stream the shows for ticket holding patrons, so that you can watch the shows at home, in the event that you do not feel comfortable coming to the theatre.  Streaming rights are currently in negotiations for some of the shows.
  5. Information about subscriptions, seating, and other logistic will follow.  If you rolled over your subscription from last year, expect a call from the Box Office soon!
  6. Golf cart transportation will not be available this summer.  Seating in the golf carts will not allow the required 6 feet social distancing from the driver.
  7. Due to a reduced staff and calendar restraints, preview performances may require that we pause the show to correct technical problems.  In other words, it will be a “true preview” and still part of the rehearsal process.

Although there will be compromises in production values, you can rest assured that you will experience the same great “storytelling” that has shaped Porthouse for the past 20 years.  Our first show, QUILTERS was part of the Porthouse 1992 season, and I played one of the daughters.  Too bad there isn’t a role for a Grandma—I’d love to act in it again.  Instead, I have the honor of directing this beautiful show. QUILTERS, running June 17 – July 3, is described by Dramatist Play Services as follows:

Ostensibly the story of a pioneer woman and her six daughters, QUILTERS blends a series of interrelated scenes into a rich mosaic which captures the sweep and beauty, the terror and joy, the harsh challenge and abiding rewards of frontier life. Illuminating stories contained in various patches or “blocks” with music, dance and drama, the action depicts the lot of women on the frontier: girlhood, marriage, childbirth, spinsterhood, twisters, fire, illness and death. But, with this, there is also love, warmth, rich and lively humor and the moving spectacle of simple human dignity and steadfastness in the face of adversity. In the end, when the various patches are assembled into one glorious, brilliantly colorful quilt, the effect is both breathtaking and magical—and a theatrical masterstroke which will linger in the mind and memory long after the house lights have dimmed.

Our second show, BKLYN, was scheduled for the summer of 2020, but will run this summer from July 8 – July 25.  Broadway Licensing says the following about this show which will be directed by Executive Producer, Eric van Baars:

BKLYN The Musical is a story within a story. On the outside you have a troupe of street performers who are sharing a story from their lives, using it to help you see them as people too. Then there is the story they tell – the story of a young girl who comes to the U.S. to find the father she never knew. Together these stories create a show that is both touching and inspiring, drawing the audience into a live theater experience to remember.

Our final show of the season is ALTAR BOYZ, running July 29 – August 15.  I am delighted to announce that Martin’ Cespedes will return to Porthouse Theatre to choreograph this show.  I will be directing, so like Man of La Mancha, where Martin and I first teamed up, this promises to be another amazing collaboration. Concord Theatricals bills the show as follows:

A foot-stomping, rafter-raising musical comedy about a ficticious Christian boy band on the last night of their national “Raise the Praise” tour.  The Boyz are five all-singing, all-dancing heartthrobs from Ohio:  Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham.

To conclude, some theatre trivia.

QUESTION: Where will you be this summer?

FINAL ANSWER:  PORTHOUSE THEATRE!!!

Take care and until we meet again, stay safe, be well, and get vaccinated.

With all my heart,

Terri Kent

Producing Artistic Director